By Florian Krueger, Partner & COO
“How can we earn more money with data? How can we make more sense of it and gain more insight” These were the questions that were asked and answered at this years Chief Data Officer (CDO) Forum, hosted by IQPC. Typical questions, typical answers.
The discussions were all about grouping, clustering and running algorithms. Sometimes it was about managing the change inside organisations and admitting that change is difficult to manage. And there were a few insightful take-aways, such as the fact that everyone is slightly unsure about what the future might bring and that they accept the fact one has to be more agile in order to succeed, as an entity, as well as an individual.
One topic that kept popping up was GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Since the fines are hefty and the deadline to be compliant is only 12 months out, all the experts were discussing immediate risk mitigation options rather than understanding their longer-term corporate social responsibility implications around data and overall ethical behaviour. Even on this single GDPR topic many were not considering the different roles that should be well understood within Data Management, such as:
- Data Generator (Originator, Nucleus, or Oracle)
- Data Steward
- Data Custodian
- Data Manager / Administrator
- Data Rules Regulator and Auditor
- Data User (examples)
- To consume for personal use
- To enrich for connected understanding
- To monetise
- To support decisions
Not once did anyone contemplate the thought of which role within their organisation they fulfil, or where and when to ensure that the usage of personal data is made transparent to the end-user, giving him (or her) the ability to open, or close the tab on personal information, along with the responsibility that comes with holding this personal data.
The CDO of one of our clients has himself said that he would like to see a dashboard, where individuals can go to understand and manage access to their data and I’m looking forward to seeing something like this come to life. We think that blockchain technology could be one of the technologies that can help to create some kind of data marketplace model. With the right level of encryption, automation and abilities to agree on contracts without intermediaries, blockchain technology could lay the foundation for a true democratisation of data.
“With the right level of encryption, automation and abilities to agree on contracts without intermediaries, blockchain technology could lay the foundation for a true democratisation of data.”
I will support any initiative that brings the power back to the people, as we think that an approach like that creates a strong foundation for a sustainable business strategy. Without the acceptance that most companies are mere custodians, there will be no improvement in the corporate way of thinking and a data revolution is inevitable, and can go either way.
We have some ideas on what to do about this and how we are planning to solve some of the related challenges, so watch this space!